Finance Ministry canceled meal-voucher annulment following fierce critics

Just right after a day since Finance Ministry has announced several radical changes, officials have changed their mind to cancel the meal-voucher annulment. This decision was taken following multiple citizens' critics. 

"Meal vouchers won't be annulled. The proposed legislative adjustments result from the fiscal policy change applied over meal voucher. They are subject to general taxation by paying compulsory social security contributions, mandatory health insurance premiums and income tax. Meal vouchers are salaries that do not contribute to medical, social and pension payments.

Data show that 30,000 people have benefited from meal vouchers, granted by approximately 620 employers. By simply transforming the salary into meal voucher, there exists a significant risk that in 2020, there will be around a 1-billion-lei fund of which social security and medical insurance contributions and premiums are not paid. This could affect the sustainability of State Social Insurance Budget. 

It is important that any measure, including meal vouchers, is introduced into the situation when budget parameters allow it. However, introducing this measure at the same time with a comprehensive reform of the reduction of the share of social contributions was extremely risky for budgetary sustainability.

Against the background of the 2018 fiscal reform, mandatory social security contributions were reduced. Thus, measures affecting budget revenues and particularly the State Social Insurance Budget, jeopardize the sustainability of the social insurance system.

In this regard, the following chart present the state budget transfers situation to cover the deficit of State Social Insurance Budget (amounts are presented in million lei).

In these budgetary circumstances, it's simply important to have a prompt and urgent reaction at policies which affect State Social Insurance Budget income. 

The measure is responsible and aimed to ensure the people's well-being and sustainability and good administration of Social Insurance Budget. This is priority of Finance Ministry", quoted a press release of Finance Ministry. 

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